May 2012 Newsletter

On May 22, over 140 students, their parents, volunteers, friends, and staff gathered at Calvary Chapel Plantation to participate in Firewall’s Student-to-Leader Graduation where we celebrated the success of the 2011-12 school year. Our high school graduates, servant leaders, and the volunteers and staff that make Firewall Centers possible for our students were recognized and honored for their dedication.

We would like to congratulate Angelo Defrank and Saraleen Benitez on their great accomplishment of graduating from Western High School! Angelo has been in the Firewall program since the 6th grade, allowing us to have the opportunity to watch him grow up into an extraordinary young man. It was very bittersweet for us as we listened to him speak to the crowd about his full college scholarship and his academic goals as he starts Broward College in the Fall. Saraleen spoke at our Luncheon in November and we had the pleasure of hearing her speak once again as she gets ready to pursue a career in nursing also at Broward College. We are very proud of these students and their achievements and look forward to all of the wonderful things that their futures have in store.

This year, a faithful donor and friend to Firewall stepped up and blessed both Angelo and Saraleen with brand new laptop computers! His desire was for these two students to have this practical tool in order to help make them more successful in college and as they move on to the next phase of their lives.

Servant Leader: Kathy
Kathy is now a sophomore at Western High School. We simply cannot believe that we have known this girl since her 6th grade year. We are so pleased with her hard work, her good grades, and her willingness to serve whenever an opportunity arises. She is a true servant leader. Kathy says:

“Firewall is my second home. Firewall has helped me become a better student and a better person. At Firewall, we learn about values that are helpful for our lives like having integrity and honesty. We learn that it is important to not only be honest with others, but with our-selves. For the past five years, I have learned responsibility. Anytime I have needed help, there is always someone here to help me. As I see the examples that the mentors give me, I want to be able to help out kids in the future because I feel that as a teenager, we need encouragement. Our mentors here at Firewall are a great encouragement to us.”

Servant Leader: Wayne
Wayne is a seventh grader at Indian Ridge Middle School. Even though this is Wayne’s first year at Firewall, it seems like if he has been here for years! He lives right next door to the center so he is always around! Wayne is a great student. He is helpful and kind to others. We love having Wayne at Firewall and know that he has a very bright future ahead of him. Wayne’s words:
“Firewall has made me a better person because I help more people than I used to. Firewall has also helped me do better on tests. Since I’ve been coming here, my grades have been better than ever. I really love this place and I hope to come here while I am in high school. You will have fun. They feed us snacks when we walk in and after we finish our homework, they take us outside or to the game room.”